Degree and university: Law, Oxford University
Job title: Social care trainee, looked after children, London Borough of Barnet
What does your job involve?
I am working in a scheme that will give me two years’ experience of social care. After this, Barnet will put us through the MA in social care at Middlesex University. Then, I will become a fully qualified social worker. There are five of us who started as trainees; we are all in different teams: adoption, children in need, referral and assessment, and fostering. I am in the ‘looked after children’ section, working with children in foster care. My time is taken up with children and families. The local authority acts as corporate parents to the children, and we have lots of targets to be met in terms of health and education.
What was your motivation in choosing this career?
I love working with people, and this is very much a people-friendly job. I also love working with kids. The Barnet scheme is good because you get two years where you are closely managed and supervised; then you go on to do a masters, after which you are guaranteed a job.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I love working directly with children. They are all pretty much teenagers, and to get through to them is quite satisfying. I like knowing I can try to help them make their lives better.
What is the most challenging aspect?
It can be very frustrating because some of the children or families are very difficult to engage with. Sometimes you can feel like although you’ve made a lot of effort the family or young person have been unable to make the changes sought.
And the worst part?
There can be a lot of boxes that need to be ticked or paperwork that needs to be done to meet statistics.
What advice would you give to readers considering a job in your field?
Make sure you have lots of experience of working with children and families, or young or adult offenders. Having experience of working with people from lots of different backgrounds is very useful. Be prepared to work hard and put in 100 per cent.